Is your property at risk for flooding? New preliminary flood maps for Brookings County – including the City of Brookings – have been released, and officials want you to be informed and prepared for potential impacts on flood insurance rates and floodplain development.
FEMA representatives will answer the public’s questions at a Flood Risk Open House on Monday, Sept. 18. The Open House is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. at the Brookings City and County Government Center at 520 Third St. The event will take place in the Chamber on the Third Floor.
FEMA recently released the preliminary flood maps, which are known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). The new digital maps use updated data and science to show the extent to which the areas throughout Brookings County might be at risk for flooding. This, in turn, may impact floodplain development requirements and/or flood insurance rates, once in effect.
Flooding is the most costly and common natural disaster in the United States, according to FEMA. The updated maps will help inform actions that protect lives and properties.
At the open house, residents, property owners and other interested stakeholders will be able to:
- work with a mapping technician to find their property on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and learn their flood risk;
- receive answers to questions;
- learn about flood insurance;
- receive information on how the newly updated maps may affect insurance and building requirements; and
- hear about potential cost savings.
The preliminary flood risk mapping products are available at the FEMA Map Service Center at https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/searchLoad.action.
The maps are still preliminary. In the future, there will be a 90-day appeal period that will be announced through the local media. During this time, property owners can submit technical and/or scientific data to file an appeal for an individual property. To learn more about appeals, visit https://www.fema.gov/sites/default/files/documents/fema_appeal-comment-processing_112022.pdf
Once FEMA reviews all appeals and comments and makes any needed changes, the final steps will start. FEMA will notify the City of Brookings and Brookings County that the maps are final and will take effect in six months. During those six months, the City and County must update their ordinances and land development regulations to adopt the new maps. This new information will be used to manage development in high-risk areas. The maps and any new flood insurance requirements will take effect six months later.